South Korea’s move to temporarily remove a tariff on imported frozen pork supplies is proving to be beneficial to Canadian pork producers.

As reported on January 25, the duty-free tariff came as South Korean officials scrambled to stabilize pork prices. Pork, along with meat and poultry, are at risk of price inflation due to a severe foot-and-mouth outbreak that had obliterated much of the country’s livestock herds.

The duty-free period runs Feb. 1 through the end of June and includes a quota of 60,000 total tons of frozen pork.

The Commodity News Service Canada reports that the new duty-free period will prompt a sharp increase in Canadian pork exports. Before October 2010, South Korea averaged between 2,500 and 4,500 tons of Canadian pork. During October and November, Canada shipped 5,000 tons of pork to South Korea. Canadian pork shipments to South Korea during December 2010 and January 2011 are expected to reach more than 6,000 tons.

Martin Rice, executive director with the Canadian Pork Council, says that he expects the decision to create a vacuum for major pork shippers, including Canada.

“The 60,000-ton quota that South Korea has removed the tariff on is already being filled quickly,” Rice said. He expects Canada to fill a third of the pork product quota.